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Soaps Interview

'Hollyoaks': Anna Passey talks awards, Sienna plot future, more

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Anna Passey as Sienna Blake in Hollyoaks

© Lime Pictures

Anna Passey as Sienna Blake



Hollyoaks schemer Sienna Blake has made a huge impact on screen in recent weeks with her ruthless plot to steal Nancy Osborne's life.

Viewers have seen that Sienna will stop at nothing to get what she wants, and with no end to her plotting in sight, the ongoing saga looks set to become one of the year's biggest storylines.

Anna Passey, who plays Sienna, is now reaping the rewards with three nominations in the 2013 Inside Soap Awards longlist.

Digital Spy recently caught up with Anna to hear her reaction to the nods and all the gossip on what's coming up for Sienna.

How do you feel about your Inside Soap Award nominations for 'Best Storyline, 'Best Bitch' and 'Best Newcomer'?
"Very excited! I've been in the show for nine months now, and during that time I've been very busy working on some fab storylines. Until now, I hadn't really had a chance to take a step back and take a look at everything. The nominations have given me the chance to do that, so it's a really nice treat.

"It's also pretty good timing, as the current storyline is still in full swing, but it's also come to a nice punctuation point where Sienna has been revealed to be completely nuts!"

Were you surprised to be up for three awards?
"Definitely, I was really surprised. I'm really, really chuffed with 'Best Newcomer'. 'Best Bitch' and 'Best Storyline' are also great! I feel really lucky to be up for three."

Have you thought about possibly winning one of the awards?
"I would really love it if we could win the 'Best Storyline' award. I think that would be the best for me, just because I know that Jess, Ash and myself have been working so hard and putting so much time and effort into it. I think it's a really exciting, gripping storyline and it's quite a long-running one too.

"I am up against some brilliant people, though. 'Best Bitch' is always a tricky category because there are so many great bitches out there in the soaps! It's the same with 'Best Newcomer', because lots of strong people have started out on screen at a similar time to me."

The Inside Soap Awards 2013

The Inside Soap Awards 2013



Do you think Hollyoaks is in with a good chance in general on the night?
"I really hope so! There's still such a great buzz around the building after our Soap Awards wins, and there's a real sense of something really special being created here. The show is definitely on the way up and we'll have some amazing storylines playing out on screen this summer. To take home some more prizes at the Inside Soap Awards would be fantastic."

Since our last interview, your storyline has really stepped up a gear! How are the fans reacting to Sienna's crazy behaviour?
"Well, people don't like her very much! (Laughs.) I think people had seen Sienna lurking around in the background for quite a few months, and so the audience knew that there was something not quite right about her. On one hand, people are excited that it's all kicked off and they've been proven right! It's been enjoyable for them to see her crazy side unravelling.

"At the same time, Sienna is breaking up the Osbornes, which is such a well-loved family in soap, so there's obviously a big backlash to that. I'm really flattered, though, because most people seem to understand that it's just a character. If people say that they hate Sienna, it hopefully means that I'm doing a good job of playing her!"

There are some fans who, despite everything, quite like Sienna and Darren together! Has that come as a surprise?
"That's been the biggest shock of all, really. Ever since I started, our producer Bryan Kirkwood was preparing me for the fact that people wouldn't like Sienna. He told me, 'We're going to make you the most disliked girl in soap!'

"It's a big surprise to have a little army of supporters who love 'Dienna' as a couple. Some people think that Darren is a lot more free and easy with Sienna, which is lovely, but I think we can all safely say that Nancy is the one who deserves to be with him."

Is there more to Darren and Sienna's friendship?

© Lime Pictures

Darren and Sienna



Do you think there's room for redemption with Sienna?
"It's an interesting question, and lots of people have asked it of me. I really don't know, because some of the things that Sienna does are completely outrageous and truly awful. In that respect, I think she makes her bed and she'll have to lie in it.

"At the same time, Sienna does have her reasons for doing what she's doing. She's not out to just maliciously wreck everything for no reason. I think that's the seed of hope that there could possibly be some redemption for her. Sienna genuinely thinks that she'd be a better wife, mother and family member for the Osbornes.

"Sienna is doing it for the right reasons, but she has a slightly altered sense of reality and she's going about it in such a terrible way. However, she's not doing it for fun and she's not getting any sense of enjoyment out of it."

We're all wondering how long Sienna can keep this up! Does the storyline still have a long way to go?
"Well, Sienna is very clever and I think that's what will prolong the storyline. She plans everything out, and even when it goes wrong, she's just that bit sharper than Darren and the rest of them. Sienna is always one step ahead, and she's not going to let go easily. It'll go on for a little while longer…"

Have any of the scenes been difficult to film? Sienna breastfeeding Oscar was one which really shocked the audience…
"Well, I read my scripts like a film and I'm always excited to see what's coming next, but then sometimes it suddenly hits me that I'm the one that's going to have to do the crazy scenes! Particularly the breastfeeding, which was a bit tricky. I've also been moved to tears on set when I've been watching the performances of Jess Fox, Ashley Taylor Dawson and Jimmy McKenna. It's upsetting to see how much destruction Sienna causes, so I can easily see why it affects the audience so much.

"More than anything, though, to get a part like this is fantastic, and for Bryan to have created something so rich is brilliant."

Nancy is unaware Sienna took Oscar from the pushchair.

© Lime Pictures

Sienna and Oscar



Do you think Esther will continue to be a thorn in Sienna's side?
"Absolutely. They do say that kids sense evil, don't they?! Tom and Esther have never really been sold on Sienna, so you can definitely expect to see more from that."

Is Patrick to blame for the way Sienna has turned out?
"Now that the audience are seeing Patrick's true colours, I think there's definitely a link there which can be made. Sienna is definitely a product of her parents and her upbringing. Obviously it can't all be blamed on that as Sienna can make her own choices, but she had quite an unusual upbringing which has definitely made an impact. Patrick and Anna certainly have a lot to answer for!"

> Inside Soap Awards 2013 - longlist nominees in full
> Read more 'Hollyoaks' spoilers and news

Votes for the 2013 Inside Soap Awards, sponsored by Mecca, can be cast via the Inside Soap website.

Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video - press play below to watch Amie Parker-Williams reveal gossip on Coronation Street's big stunt, Lauren's EastEnders return, a blast from the past in Emmerdale and more Roscoe dramas in Hollyoaks.

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